TTRPG Characters in Memoriam - Lemme know your bittersweet (or funny) stories!

So it happened, I finally lost my favourite D&D character to a heroic death last night and I am still emotional about it. I have been listening to sad music and writing all morning because it's Cathartic AF, so you all have to suffer the results!

BUT, I also want to hear stories of your absent friends and alter egos! Tell me tales of your fallen companions and counterparts! Bonus points if it's bittersweet, tragic and filled with Pathos. My favourite type of 'os' !

EDIT: Or funny stories too! Doesn't have to be a classical tragic end or heroic last stand - If you got taken out by the broom in Death House, I would VERY much like to know about it too!

Mine is the tale of Esme Fray, cursed Medusa and Redemption paladin of Lathander...


Esme fell in final battle with Auril, the Frostmaiden. Standing steadfast before the goddess's final form, a barrier between her and her friends until the end. Though she eventually fell to the dread cold of the 'Maiden's fury, her actions helped save her friends and the remaining towns of Icewind Dale - in that order of importance.

* * *

Somewhere on the outskirts of Waterdeep, amongst the ruins of an old abandoned manor, a solitary figure walks, reliving an old life she barely remembers. Impossibly pale skinned , long golden hair drifting in a breeze that isn't there, a peace in her heart she hasn't felt in hundreds of years.

* * *

Her last thoughts were of the Goliath Blacksmith Wayani, a hopeless crush she regrets not having gotten the chance to explore further. She was clutching at the gift the weapon-smith had given her as the second blast of frozen ice hit. The little scrimshaw charm falling as her grip loosened with unconsciousness.

But she always knew it would end this way.

She'd told her friends as much when they were swapping secrets in order to gain access to the tower at the centre of the wretched dead city. That was her second secret - that she knew she wouldn't be leaving here alive.

The first was much simpler, she wanted to go home again. To her beloved Waterdeep. To her home on the outskirts - burnt and looted by angry mobs so many hundreds of years before after being inflicted with the Medusa's curse.

* * *

She runs her hand along the edge of a faded, fire-burnt painting. The last thing she remembers creating before everything started to unravel.

It's image is obscured by centuries, but she still remembers every detail. The eye watering, impossible towers and cavernous glacier. The furious, monstrous goddess bearing down... and the other monster. The one in golden armour of her kin, standing up to a god...the snake haired woman who shared her own face.

She remembers sketching in the four other strangers she had never met, fighting for their lives, in the background. She remembers the bitter cold that would shock her awake in the early hours of the morning until the composition was complete..

She remembers the dreams, and this painting. And the moment when the hag cursed her with her affliction. And remembers the worst thing about that was the crushing emotional weight of knowing the exact time and place of her own death.

* * *

There was still a chance of returning. But a potentially costly one. The city had dabbled in a ninth school of magic. Chronomancy. Those that still dwelt in this place offered a small chance of coming back. But it was too much to risk, and she would not put her friends in further danger. With the last of her fading life energy, her spirit intervened, warning them not to attempt such a dangerous, reckless folly just for one life.

They respected her wishes, in a costly act that seemingly cost another party member their life (though, Esme might have been the only one who really noticed that was not really the case). In destroying a source of unstable, dangerous power they secured the future of Icewind Dale, perhaps even reality itself...but in doing so broke the last thread of a chance that the last few moments of time could be undone.

The last words her spirit spoke was whispered to her satyr friend Arit, to whom she had almost a motherly fondness. Telling her to look after the others...and that it might be time go home and visit her family for a while...

* * *

She leaves the painting, sadly, hoping the others made it out of that place safely. Hoping especially that her strange little satyr friend is happy somewhere, causing chaos.

There's a faint twinge - a memory of a pain - and she instinctively reaches up to her left eye, now intact and restored to its original icy blue. She wondered idly what would happen to that small piece of her physical form, left drifting in one of those dead towers, ripped from her against her will to join that strange collection...

* * *

Her remaining friends carried her out of that place. Unwilling to leave her in that dead, lonely graveyard of a metropolis. Through the dead, fallen city, the ice caves...across the tundra of Icewind Dale. Escorted home by the first clement weather the Dale had seen in many months, and a distant mournful cry of a vast, white bird, in mourning for the death of its own absent friend.

Later, attempts they made to resurrect her would all fail. Esme's spirit content to rest, finally, and so she was given a funeral fitting for a loyal servant of Lathander. A hero's pyre burned at the temple of the Morninglord in Bryn Shander.

They didn't expect the thousands of well wishers.

Survivors of the Eight Towns to survive the events of the last few weeks poured into the city. All crammed into the streets outside the temple, paying respects to both survivors and the dead in equal measure.

As the last of Esme burnt to ashes, the sun rose above the walls of Bryn Shander, high into a sky that hadn't seen daylight in over two years...

* * *

She sits in the remains of her favourite chair. The picture window is long gone, but she remembers the view and sighs contentedly. She's home, finally.

Out of muscle memory she reaches out to grasp at an absent paintbrush and palette. Then stops herself with a sad chuckle. With glistening...human...eyes she she fades from the material plane again - back into happy, comforting memories. The golden feathered wings adorning her back the last thing to disappear...

RIP, Lady Esme Fray.



I am so glad this is thread of the week! Now, time to dredge up painful memories…

I fondly recall playing a D&D wizard at hedgwizard's house with other gwjers in a party of 4.
I died after 20-30 minutes because there was like a curse card dealt that damaged everyone every round and I have low hp.
I believe I had a wand of fireball as we were supposed to be level 1 or 2. So I don't think I had it memorized.
I cast magic missile or something on one creature to kill it and then promptly died.

I told the cleric (last one alive) not to use his last heal on me yet because I wouldn't survive more than one round and we needed to find the last enemies in the dungeon. This was the board game version with tiles that created a sort of randomly generated dungeon.

The cleric found two minor enemies saddling a tougher enemy. I think they were skeletons of some sort.
He led them down a few tiles so that I could get in range when I gained consciousness. He then popped a heal and I think it wasn't a given that I would be revived. I think I was -4 hp and he rolled a 5. I believe I was still taking damage every turn while unconscious so there was an element of risk and time involved.

I woke up flung the fireball, killed the 2 minions and damaged the leader enough so that the cleric could whack him dead. Then I died again to the curse and the cleric did just that kind of whacking to win the game.